I have just returned from another fantastic voyage to the East. And since this e-postcard has only so much room to spare, I’ll cut right to the chase. It was my absolute pleasure traveling to and across Australia as I accompanied Peter Berry Consultancy (Hogan’s premier distributor) for their 2019 Thought Leadership Forum. This series of events featured the Australian Psychological Society’s biannual I/O Psychology Conference (IOP) as a capstone, of which PBC continues to be the sole platinum sponsor.
The following was just some of my report from the antipodes:
The PBC Hogan User conferences in Sydney,
Melbourne and Adelaide were each a huge success. With legendary
style, Peter Berry, Managing Director and Shayne Nealon, Managing Partner
of PBC delivered presentations on client case studies and the latest
innovations on the Hogan
360. A special highlight was when an executive from Australia’s national
cricket team gave a ripper presentation on their usage of Hogan and the
benefits it has brought to the organization. Public and private sector
executives, academics, consultants and coaches were all in attendance.
There are numerous perspectives and fundamental disagreement
about the true definition of leadership. The good news is, most definitions of
leadership fit into two broad categories. On one hand, we can think of a person
who has a supervisory or management title as being a leader. On the other hand,
we can think of a person who supports and guides a group to work toward common
goals as being a leader. The first definition is based on a person’s formal
role within an organization. The second definition is based on the function the
leader serves and the group’s outcome.
Most books about leadership either explicitly or implicitly
define leadership in terms of who is in charge, as does much of the academic
study of leadership. The assumption is that leadership is about the position
rather than the person. How do you know someone is a leader? You see if they
have a title that implies they are in a leadership role. How do you study
leadership to understand what it is about? You find people who are in
leadership positions and study what they are doing. Who writes books about
leadership? People who have been in leadership positions. Whose leadership
books get published? Those who have had leadership titles in companies with
recognizable brands. How does one get better at leadership? They read those
books. The authors must know something about leadership, because they have been
in leadership positions, right?
The idea of transformational leadership sounds good when
taken at face value. A transformational leader is someone who instills pride,
respect and trust in its followers. They inspire and motivate people beyond
expectations, sparking innovation and change. And, if you look up
“transformation” in the dictionary, you will see it defined as “a thorough or
dramatic change in form or appearance.” So, what organization wouldn’t want to
introduce some form of transformational leadership to respond to the disruption
caused by the current digital revolution?
Although transformational leadership seems like a good idea
in theory, it is nothing more than charismatic leadership with a different and
more appealing name. A recent study
published by the Journal of
Personality and Social Psychology shows that there is plenty to dislike about charismatic
leadership. In fact, there is little evidence to show that there is a strong
correlation between charisma and effective leadership. So, because charismatic
leadership and transformational leadership are essentially the same thing, it’s
important to understand how this style of leadership has been so widely adopted
across the globe.
The selection process and criteria were modeled after ICF’s International Prism Award, which has been granted annually since 2005 to companies that stand out through the establishment of a coaching culture with extraordinary results in difficult change processes. Past winners of this prestigious award include Coca Cola, SAP, Airbus, and several other prominent companies.
Infelligent Coaching & Consulting, Hogan’s distributor in Taiwan, hosted a “Refresh Mindset for Leadership Forum,” on April 12. Their audience of nearly 100 guests was comprised of many distinguished corporate leaders. Ken Sun, General Manager of Microsoft Taiwan, and Enid Tsai, General Manager of Hiwin Technology, shared their success stories based on Hogan related concepts. Abby Hsieh, Managing Director of Ogilvy Group Taiwan acted as the moderator.
In his opening remarks, Jim Hwang, General Manager of Infelligent, shared insights on transforming talent selection strategies. Based on Hogan’s research on Humility and Emergence vs Effectiveness, he suggested that corporations should not identify talent only based on performance approval, likability and willingness – these are common traits we often find in charismatic people who are not necessarily effective leaders. Studies show humble people make the effort to develop teamwork and help others; they focus more on team success rather than personal glory. Identifying high potential candidates with scientific assessments like the Hogan assessments, differentiates emergent leadership (generated by charisma) and effective leadership (generated by humility) and finds the leaders who are focused on building effective teams; who invites new ideas and feedback; who are willing to admit mistakes; and who gives credit to the teams and colleagues.
Advanced People Strategies (APS), authorized Hogan distributors for the UK, has once again, teamed up with Corporate Research Forum (CRF) to explore the implications of Digital Disruption for leaders and leadership development.
We live in an era of digital disruption, characterized by the rise of digital technology, the emergence of new competitors, reshaping of traditional industry rules and boundaries, which brings with it an accelerating pace of change and increasing complexity. For organizations, future success and business sustainability rely on the ability to adapt to these changes. To succeed in this new economy, organizations are having to build the capacity for fast innovation underpinned by:
Agility: The ability to anticipate changing market conditions and adjust quickly.
Rapid decision making and prototyping through collaborative team working.
A culture of curiosity, experimentation, and learning.
A tolerance for risk.
Pragmatic vision and the skill to devise corresponding objectives, boundary parameters, key results, and metrics that matter.
Leaders need to both develop these capabilities themselves and foster them within their organization. In short, leadership must evolve in response to the changing context.
The research report explores the implications of the Digital Age specifically for leadership and leadership development. We examine how the role and expectations of leaders are changing in the Digital Age and review the implications of these changes for leadership development practices.
Hogan was honored to host
a special event on May 21 featuring Stanford University Professor Michal
Kosinski, a world-renowned data scientist and psychologist.
Remember Cambridge Analytica? You know, the political consulting
firm that mined personal data from Facebook users without their consent to
influence the 2016 Presidential Election? Well, Kosinski was the data scientist
who first demonstrated one’s Facebook “likes” can predict their personality
better than friends or family.
Kosinski had been warning the public of the risks and
challenges brought by the digital revolution long before Cambridge Analytica’s
inception, and he turned down an opportunity to work with the organization
because of the legal and ethical implications that were inevitably to follow.
Since then, his research has been brought to the forefront, including a cover
story for The Economist, an interview with Fareed Zakaria to discuss the role
of big data in the 2016 election, and he authored an op-ed in the New York
Times about how Facebook sells data despite its claims.
Have you ever taken a Buzzfeed quiz to tell you what Harry
Potter house you’re in? Or maybe what character from The Office you are most
like? How much weight do you put on the results of those quizzes? Would you
want companies making hiring decisions based on similar assessments?
In March, Hogan Senior Research Consultant Karen Fuhrmeister
gave a TEDx Talk at the University of Tulsa on “The Science Behind Hiring
Assessments: It’s Not a Waste of Time.” The talk aimed to inform students and
other attendees about the use of personality assessments in the workplace, and
how this trend isn’t going away any time soon. In fact, it’s becoming more and
more likely that those going through the interviews will be asked to take one
of these assessments.
In the final analysis, business is
about money and people. By definition, successful private equity firms understand
finance, but on average they tend to be less sophisticated about people issues.
This makes sense: deal partners and analysts are trained in finance and are good
at spotting undervalued assets. But savvy private equity players also
understand that reviving an underperforming business depends to a large degree
on people issues—in particular, it depends on the leadership of the portfolio
company and its working relationship with new ownership.
Considerable evidence suggests
that PE firms could do a better job evaluating the ability of the leadership
team in their acquired companies. A recent
survey by Alix Partners found that nearly three-quarters of portfolio
company CEOs are removed during the investment life cycle. Over half are
replaced in the first two years; but only 15% are replaced at the outset. These
data suggest that, for 4 out of the 5 replaced CEOs, the decision takes too
long, thereby delaying strategic milestones and prolonging the hold time.
The Hogan team recently hosted Dr. Adrian Furnham at its
global headquarters in Tulsa for a special visit. As one of leading personality
psychologists in the world, Furnham has a been a vocal advocate of using Hogan
for decades. He regularly points to Hogan in media interviews and articles as
the most accurate predictor of workplace performance in the world, and he also
was a key figure in the 2014 documentary, The Science of Personality.
As part of his visit, Dr. Furnham delivered a special presentation to the Hogan team highlighting the research he’s been doing. Here’s the full-length version of his talk: